Monday, May 26, 2014

Crucial elections everywhere, dramatic conclusions! Shame and pride for all!

Today we had dramatic elections in three areas of the world and curiously, I can put them together in a way that they relate to Venezuela! Not necessarily directly but bear with me.

Since this blog is about Venezuela we will start with the two partial elections held today which have been a major set back for the regime, even though the results were predicted pro opposition. But not that much pro opposition....

Readers may recall that two opposition mayors had been removed by judicial diktat without a trial, as the High Court of Venezuela has become a mere extension of the executive branch, removing out of the way "legally" whatever annoys the dictatorship. The two mayors were in addition jailed because, well, the high court decided it was to be. Since we live under a dictatorship that cares to pass as a democracy they had no choice but to call for new elections for these two cities. Granted, these two cities were going to give new wins for the opposition but the political calculation of the regime was that the opposition would divide and that any drop in its support would be used as a positive news for Maduro. It was not to be.

For full disclosure I have not followed closely those elections because 1) I was busy on matters that I shall talk more about later and 2) I was disgusted by the overall political response of the opposition MUD to the gross coup from the regime. Certainly we had to go and vote anyway, but I think the opportunity was badly mismanaged to score a few extra political points along the way. Then again I am quite convinced that there are those in the MUD that definitely think it is more convenient for them to remain in the opposition. But I digress.

The results fell tonight and not only the opposition retained its two cities but it increases its vote share and percentile numbers. Based on the CNE numbers available (with a few hours late while nationwide elections results in Colombia next door came out fast and uncontested, same old story with the CNE) we can see the following: [number changes from December 2013 to today]
San Cristobal went from 82,794 votes for a 67,7% to 88,991 with a 73,6% (chavismo lost 5,000 votes which seem strangely close to the numbers the opposition got extra, no?)
San Diego went from 29,665 votes for a 75,2% to 33,910 with a 87,7% (chavismo is defeated 1 to 8, in addition of dropping 2,500 votes).

All the efforts of the regime to brow beat these cities, to divide opposition, to promote abstention have failed and it looks like the gains were made more at the expense of chavismo than possible abstention. there is no way around, this is a major set back for the regime, a major confirmation that the opposition is now an electoral majority. Days of reflection for all ahead. Chavismo strategy is a dead end of violence and repression. The MUD cannot possibly win if it does not find a more durable way to tie protest and elections and clear message as it was, miraculously, the case today. Yes, I wrote miraculously.

And since I mentioned how once again the CNE was shamed by election systems outside of Venezuela, let's talk about the second election in importance for Venezuela today: the presidential one in Colombia. Let's start by saying that when a sitting president running for reelection scores a paltry 25,7% with a huge abstention, well, he is in trouble. The more so when he trails the first round winner by 4 points, and the very honorable third place has 15,2% which is almost enough to push over the top the front runner with 29,3 if she decides to go that way.

Why has Santos failed so badly, not even able to score a face saving 30%? All cannot be attributed to Uribe wishes to sabotage in any possible way the one who was his anointed heir. I am going to venture a speculation: the disaster next door, in Venezuela, with the clear electoral manipulation of the FARC pseudo negotiating stuff in Havana has turned early support for Santos proposal for peace into a serious doubtful proposition, a proposition that in the presidential debates was criticized one way or another, mildly or strongly by every single candidate (even though all piously preached for peace). Clearly the Colombian people have not valuated the economic progress of Colombia under Santos and are more afraid of him being manipulated by the FARC (and Cuba and Caracas). In Caracas Colombians voting at the embassy were clear on that idea: Zuluaga trashed, TRASHED Santos.

Something that they also know in San Cristobal with this tweet:

Oh well.....

The third election I will be brief because I am too embarrassed as a French man to read that the Front National got 25% of the votes in France (and sister parties elsewhere in Europe performed quite well too, in particular the UK).

The two oldest democracies in Europe have given birth to major parties that want to kill Europe, democracy, solidarity, etc...  I am astounded.....

My take, if you will, is that there are 25% of chavistas in Paris and London. Yes chavistas.  Political parties that are reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, authoritarian, well, in short, full of "resentidos", people overwhelmed by resentment and thus unable to understand the wide world and thus scared to death by it to the point of believing that frontiers can be risen again, that you can function quite well in your little corner on your own. That is exactly what Chavez offered. Even his reaching out to other countries was a mere "come and subject willingly to me and my system", never an understanding and accommodation of differences.


PS. we also learned today that Correa has decided to ask for a constitutional reform so he can be president for life too. From Paris to Quito, democracy under constant threat.


  1. Elections won’t work. In Vzla’s disguised neo-dictatorship, this only serves as a notice to prepare to Cheat on a bigger scale next time. More dead people will resuscitate with brand new cedulas, the Chinese and the Cubans will vote again.

    Of course nothing was shown on TV, and remember, most people do not have computers or internet, if they can read at all. So the poor majority will get corrupted info.

    Plus this gives the illusion of democracy, internationally, and calms people down a bit, those who still dream fair elections might knock down this totalitarian regime.

  2. Milonga3:56 PM

    25% of chavistas in Paris and London are chavistas! Dear friend, that was the most brilliant analysis I have heard of what happened yesterday in Europe. As for the rest, I was relieved. But worry that in Colombia more than 60% did not even bother to go and vote. "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who do engage in politics."-- Plato. This quote is also attributed to Toynbee. I just used it to illustrate what is happening everywhere. People are pushing people away from politics by discrediting politcs in order for them to continue governing and doing whatever they like. And this is sad, very sad. Do not know how to revert it! Best regards!

  3. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Other examples are George Wallace in the 1968 US election with around 14% of the vote and a win in 5 states, Italy's communists around 25% throughout the Cold War, Scotland's SMP usually between 23 and 33 %, etc. I agree with you: Chavistas are everywhere, but at manageable levels (otherwise democracy would never had worked). Venezuela will have a chance the moment the Chavista support settles down to more reasonable levels from the current high singularity. it will happen. It always does. It's a law of nature that chavismo never prevails in the long run.

  4. "PS. we also learned today that Correa has decided to ask for a constitutional reform so he can be president for life too. From Paris to Quito, democracy under constant threat."

    Democracy has never been under more danger than it is right now.
    Everybody,from common people to heads of state are just way too accomodating with authocrats and dictators, too tolerant.

    Just like in Venezuela people think they can live and convivir with crime as if it was just another little thing like shitty roads, the world thinks it can live with a few dictators.But every year there's more and more, and democracies are just too weak and slow,but only because they want to be. Latinamerica is long lost,thanks in no small part to OUR money and the master dictator and me-burlo-en-sus-caras Chavez. Is Europe next now?

    I said it once and i'll say it again on this blog, i'm scared of the world me and my children will have to live in.

    1. Anonymous10:36 PM

      I quite agree. I am afraid for the future as well. Politician all over the world have turned democratic rules and principles into promises of emptying the national treasuries for votes. The Chavistas have shook the golden goose (PDVSA oil) for so long, and with such demanding vigor, that there are fewer golden eggs to be had. The goose is now emaciated and haggard. This has little to do with democracy, but everything to do with grand theft on a massive scale.

    2. Well said Juan, and right on point....

  5. Roberto Carlos10:48 PM

    The more you shriek about what racist, homophobic, xenophobic, reactionaries the new wave of parties around the western world are ... the more YOU sound like the one who've come unhinged.

    1. You are right, I should get into conversion therapy, forget that I speak 3 languages, embrace separated but equal and my life would be happier, less threatening for people like you who embrace normalcy.

    2. Roberto Carlos5:03 AM

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. What is your point in visiting this blog, a blog that you clearly so despise? You are as bad as the chavistas/PSF that used to visit. Go and play with them wherever it is they are hanging these days.

    4. That one was a plain old Kook, crazy as a bedbug, nutty as a squirrel. Loopy. Delete and move on.

  6. Democracy should represent the majority and people should stop calling other people Fascists so easily.Please folks.There are many intelligent reasons why people would chose or not chose to be part of the EU...better to discuss those without name calling and exaggerated labeling. And as for Chavez , he was very much looking for more and more power which is why he wanted to ally himself with Cuba and the Socialist governments of Brasil , Argentina etc. Remember, he joined UNASUR and founded ALBA.

    If you want to look for Fascists this hateful video would be a good start.In denouncing the Fascists they look an awful lot like them.What we hate, we turn into.The polarization problem will never be solved without a respectful dialogue :

    Dividing the world into sane, Democratic, progressives vs right wing fascists just doesn't cut it...It would appear that some in France do have this Fascist tendency but let's not lump all of the people who are against the EU into that category.

    The PR victory has been predictably won by the regime in Tachira.


    1. Charly6:13 PM

      Whoever thinks Fascism is more than an insult and is willing to learn about it (and I believe everyone should), then read "The Path to Serfdom" by Friedrich Von Hayek. Libertarian Economist (a founder of the Austrian School), Jewish, the chap new a lot about Fascism, in particular that it is a left wing ideology and not from the extreme right as so many wrongly believe.

  7. This just in, protests in Miraflores!

    A group of soldiers from the parachute division that participated in the February 4th (4F) coup were protesting close to Miraflores, they bombed with tear gas and then moved to Mirflores to receive some more gas! They were protesting their rights to be absorbed back into the Armed Forces. Details are few yet so some of this stuff could be off.

  8. Anonymous1:35 AM

    I agree with you that Chavism has many correspondences to fascism, and hence right-wing nationalistic parties in Europe, but it must be clear that the genesis of both is very different. The European movements are obvious (and troubling) reactions to the threat posed by outsiders - primarily Muslims - to their very cultures, not to mention their economic competition. It is this, and only this, that has given them such popularity. Nothing like this situation exists in Venezuela. However, Russia operates a Venezuela-like 21st century "democracy", which is actually a dictatorship, and at the bedrock of that regime is a fundamentally white racist, messianic, and also morally conservative agenda that is indeed homophobic to an extreme.
    I think you might have mentioned that other major election going on - the one in Ukraine

  9. Anonymous5:29 AM

    UKIP and FN are symptoms of a wider problem than immigration re: competition for jobs. Political pandering to cultural and religious groups (i.e. multiculturalism) has ripped the electorate apart. Immigration in this multicultural political setting just strengthens the boundaries, transforms society into a collection of conflicting tribes, easy to control since they cannot unite politically. The indigenous working-class tribe of the UK is voting UKIP because feels the Labour Party has betrayed it by catering to a system that resulted in its disenfranchisement.
    At the same time, Europe has been converted into federal Europe through the back door: without constitution guaranteeing that the electorate is in charge of federal politics. The federal European bureaucracy is appointed, says N. Farage, etc. And he has a point.
    The combination of both these factors (multiculturalism and federalism without constitutional guarantees) is explosive.

  10. I think the problem for Santos in Colombia is he abandoned Uribe's strategy of forcing FARC to surrender on the battlefield. Santos wanted to negotiate with FARC but FRAC is growing increasingly unpopular with most people in Colombia.

    You wrote, " The two oldest democracies in Europe have given birth to major parties that want to kill Europe, democracy, solidarity, etc... I am astounded....."

    You should not be astounded - nor are you correct on what they want. First, the press calls the parties "far right". They are not what most would consider far right. They are typically against the unended immigration into Europe mainly from the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. Europe tends to provide new immigrants with lots of benefits. Benefits that are becoming very burdensome to the existing population. Also, the Muslim immigrants are unwilling to assimilate into European culture and instead want to change Europe to be more like the Middle East. Another big push is against socialism. Socialist parties have been destroying the economies of Europe. The socialists have made laws that make it extremely hard for businesses to work in places especially France. Next, many of the more affluent countries feel that they are subsidizing the less affluent countries and that they are dragging them down. They also have to comply to European Union regulations. So, this new party wants to push away for the idea of a central European government. Some of the parties also want to go back towards more sanity on energy and abandon failed energy policies that penalize carbon users in ways that do no good for the economy or environment.

  11. "I agree with you that Chavism has many correspondences to fascism, and hence right-wing nationalistic parties in Europe, ..."

    Most of what is called "right wing nationalist parties" in Europe are far removed from facism.

    "The European movements are obvious (and troubling) reactions to the threat posed by outsiders - primarily Muslims - to their very cultures, not to mention their economic competition"

    Partly correct. The economic issue is currently the fact that tax payers are heavily subsidizing immigrants. The people feel that they are providing immigrants with food, housing and medical care and yet the immigrants are usually not only NOT thankful, they are instead in England anti-British, in France, they are anti-France and etc. The population is growing increasingly irritated.

  12. Let's do away with "-isms", stick only to facts. When people are doing things and making things that others are happy to pay for, that's an economy that works! When governments provide effective governance that serves everyone that's a government that works! When laws serve justice, those are laws that work! There's no formula, it takes hard work and competence! Ideology is a distraction!

  13. The results in Europe are a direct result of the politicians in the European Parliament no paying attention to what the people want. By trying to micromanage everything, people have no way of expressing their disgust in the results, other than to vote their "leaders" out of office. I expect that, later this year, we will see similar results in the USA.

    1. You are so right! However, one must wonder how all these austerity mongers and confidence hawks got into government in the first place!

  14. Don't mean to highjack this thread, but this news from Ecuador:

    In the coming days the government of Nicolas Maduro will present evidence of the alleged assassination plans and coup on behalf of the Venezuelan right-wing against his government, to international bodies.

    “Let’s take these evidence to all instances of the world,” Maduro said during the radio program In Touch with Maduro.

    Moreover Venezuelan President also reported that the U.S. government expressed interest in knowing the evidence submitted on last May 28, in which there are e-mail exchanges among several representatives of the Venezuelan and American right-wing.

    “If the U.S. government would like to know all the evidence we have, we are delighted, my Government is willing to bring the evidence to the Government of President Obama, so he will know how senior State Department officers are encouraging the madness of extreme coup and killer right-wing of Venezuela,” he shouted.

    1. I have researching this right-wing U.S. government, but find no evidence of any!?!?

      Maduro needs a lot of luck to convince the international governments of assassination attempts etc.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Anonymous5:09 PM

    I heard Batman was behind the plot. Please don't repost Maduro's garbage.


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